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August 5, 2009

Merge Healthcare Helps HealthPartners Integrate Medical Imaging, EHR Solutions

To integrate PACS from Merge with an electronic health record

By CBR Staff Writer

Merge Healthcare has completed a project to integrate its radiology picture archiving and communications system (PACS) with an electronic health record (EHR) solution from Epic. The new platform is now used at St Paul-based Regions Hospital and across 18 HealthPartners outpatient clinics and medical offices.

Carrie Boren, director of enterprise radiology services for HealthPartners and Regions Hospital, said: “Since going filmless with hospital imaging in 2003 and launching our EHR in 2005, we identified an opportunity to enhance workflow by bringing Merge and Epic together. The separate applications did not provide a robust environment to optimize radiology workflow. Our radiologists were excited about the Epic/Merge integration because they knew it would bring new efficiencies.

“This integration is already showing its value in improving operational efficiencies, enhancing patient care, and increasing satisfaction among patients and clinicians. Radiologists no longer wait for manual delivery of information from some departments or use extra keystrokes to toggle between two systems, and we’ve significantly reduced report turnaround time to referring doctors. In most cases, a final report is in the EHR within two hours of the imaging exam being performed,” she added.

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